Dual Degree Program in Geography and Operations Research

Graduates students within Geography can elect to participate in the Operations Research Dual-Title Degree Program. Operations Research is the use of scientific methodology in the formulation, analysis, and solution of problems of decision making. The term Operations Research originated in World War II to describe studies of military operations involving man-machine systems. Since its origin, operations researchers have addressed a wide variety of problems, including production and inventory control, transportation and distribution system design, capital investment marketing strategies, health maintenance, pollution control, personnel staffing, military deployment, resource management and other regional planning problems, just to name a few. The applications of operations research are numerous, and more importantly, new applications are continually arising. The strength and versatility of operations research lie in its ability to model the behavior of complex systems in quantitative mathematical terms, as well as its prescriptive power through analysis and synthesis.

Operations Research is interdisciplinary by nature and draws on the techniques from many fields, including the mathematical sciences, engineering, economics, and the physical sciences. The unique structure of the OR program at Penn State enables students from rather diverse backgrounds to attain and be identified with the tools, techniques, and methodology of Operations Research and at the same time maintain a close association with their field of major interest. The opportunity to study and work with others from such diverse backgrounds provides an enriching experience not usually available in graduate work. By a judicious selection of courses, a student can tailor a plan of graduate study to meet career objectives in both of the chosen fields.

Students electing to participate in this program will earn a dual-title degree at either the Ph.D., M.S., or M.Eng. levels, e.g., Ph. D. in Geography and Operations Research, or M.S. in Geography and Operations Research. The Ph.D. students can also elect to take Operations Research as a minor.

For more information, please access the Operations Research Web site, and the graduate degree programs bulletin.